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Link Development Forum

So tired of link requests
My DEL button barely works anymore...

 6:07 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Here's a naive question from a website owner who always deletes link requests anyway (directed to the "link request bogeyman"):

Why include the "description" in your link instructions? If I genuinely want to link to your site, I'll do my own due dilligence and scout around your site at least long enough to be able to come up with my own fifteen word review of your site - which may or may not include your precious keywords, but that's up to me, isn't it?

Likewise, why are you asking me to provide a description of my site? Have the imagination and the wit to do it yourself, you talentless nonce.

And if you want to link to my site, why are you telling me about it? Go ahead and link to it. Otherwise don't. What the blazes is the problem here? Stop wasting your and my time.



 6:27 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

99.9% of all link requests are simply spam. It's mostly done robotically by worthless automations. That's why it seems mindless - because it is.


 6:36 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Disguise your email with Javascript or the like. We get maybe 1 link request a week at most because of our obscured email address.


 6:49 pm on Apr 13, 2005 (gmt 0)

Hmmm... I can usually spot the automated ones. I'm talking about the real ones - the people who know my name and my email address... oh I suppose it all comes from a database somewhere and it's automated all the same.


 12:15 am on Apr 14, 2005 (gmt 0)

The problem is, most of the requests I get come through on my email address in the whois record.

1) I'd be happy to entertain some of them but, none of them tell me which site they want a link from. ;)

2) None of them come from a valid email address.

Having an encrypted email / form mail on your site is not stopping people.


 3:56 am on Apr 15, 2005 (gmt 0)

RE: whois requests and off topic requests ...

I consider it very poor taste to ask for a link or a link exchange if you have not looked at the site long enough to know what kind of sites it links to and if a add url is clearly shown on the page that leads to a email address different than the whois address. Requests for links that look spammy from the begining likely will always remain spammy.

Any honest website that wants a link from me would be better off if my email spam filter gets those requests. Exceptions for me include: my domain name changed please change the link, requests for links from pages that don't suggest how to have a link from that page (special content locations that may or may not already have external links), multible or site wide link exchange ideas. The i run a link exchange program, (i can send you traffic) if you exchange links with WhoKnewItsWasAWiget.com those requests should be trashed.

RE: request for a description, hell it takes me some time to put togeather a good description without getting good keywords for a search engines. If somebody wants to suggest as a starting point a description that can save me some time. But i agree if you say it should be suggested description.

My situation is different than yours, I am running a website in a field that plays white hat hard ball; any english that you get from links in search engines can not be ignored, the short fact of the matter is links=money.


 1:36 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Successful link campaigns have got to get much more targeted to the webmaster receiving the request. Running a script, mining a relevant DMOZ directory/competitor backlink list and blasting emails is not the way to go, apart from the ethical issues it's now so common it can only become increasingly ineffective. And even contacting relevant sites by hand for the purpose of getting reciprocal links is just not specific enough.

The key is to alter your mindset from a webmaster wanting a link for their own ends, to a webmaster offering a service other webmasters will genuinely be interested in - a resource professionals in your niche can get passionate about enough to want to link to you. I have some established sites so it's easier to get new ones sites going, but for the past 4 months or so I haven't done reciprocal links, just made sure content is top notch and linked from my current sites. For me at least traffic's doing well.

Which means that more than ever content is important. Even if it's a commercial site it's always a good idea to build ample original content and make a site a real topic resource, then kindly introduce your site to webmasters who, from their point of view, would be genuinely interested in your content. And if you have to send link request messages, at least get your title right. If it says "Link request", it's never going to be read. You've somehow got to give the impression that the email is personal and that your message is contributing real value to the receiver and their users, not just yourself.

In sum then, lose the greed, get service-oriented, and market your site first and foremost by offering some great information.




 4:24 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

In sum then, lose the greed, get service-oriented, and market your site first and foremost by offering some great information.

I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay. Paying thousands of dollars to develop content and giving it away because someone says it will all work out in the end is not an option. Not on this planet, at least.


 4:55 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had an interesting exchange today with someone who stole my content and then asked for a link exchange!

This webmaster first stole a map of mine and used it as his most prominent feature on his home page. He then stole a photo and used that on a secondary page.

His website is "home grown" and far from professioanl looking, but he is in business just the same. So I wrote him and asked him in no uncertain terms to remove both my map and my photo.

He wrote back within 12 hours stating that he would respond within 24 hours. The upshot was that within 48 hours, he had removed both my map and my photo ... but he then said "First, I apologize for using your map. It has been replaced with my map.

If we can be friends now, how about putting a link and mention of (my site) on your page and I will put your link on my page?

I wrote back and said:

Good afternoon Mr. (Somebody),

Thank you for removing my map and the photo of Vinny.

Once your web site has been running for more than 6 months to a year and provided I hear good things about how reliable your service is, I will actively promote it to my clients and will add your link to my site. I may even add a full page as I have done for other services such as (this guy) and (that guy).

I do not participate in reciprocal link programmes and do not require a link to my site for adding your link. I believe in linking as a way of promoting a good web site with a good (my area) based business. If you wish to link to my site, by all means go ahead but please donít make linking to you a requirement. I link to other (my area) businesses because they offer a valid service which may benefit my clients.

I do not sell or offer for sale anything other than (what I sell), but thanks for the offer.



I was blown away by the boldness of this guy! He stole from me and still had the brass to ask for a link and my friendship after the fact!


Hello ... do you recognize the fact that I am pissed with you to begin with? Now you want me to link to you ... and you have the nerve to make it a reciprocal link request? This guy has absolutely no idea of decorum. None whatsoever!

But you have to give him credit, he had the b#@@s to ask! The answer he got wasn't what he had hoped for ... but the fact of the matter is, his service is important to my industry and I would likely have listed his site on mine without any link request of any kind. Now however, I will likely wait 6 months to a year before giving him the link he wants ... but if he stays in business (which is questionable) I will definitely link to him regardless of whether or not he gives a link back to my site.

Why? His service will benefit my customers. That is the only reason I will give anyone a link ... full stop.!


 5:05 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

Liane; How did you find out this guy stole your map and image?

I had a person email me recently with the news that they had appropriated some of my content, and at the same time ask if I would link to them. :)

I think not.

Now had they asked if they could use some of my content, before they took it, that might have been a different matter.


 5:26 am on Apr 16, 2005 (gmt 0)

I had an interesting exchange today with someone who stole my content and then asked for a link exchange!

I had this happen to me the other day, too. They had stolen most of my site, and after some deeper browsing "not feeling quite right", I realised they'd also stolen text from several other sites I'm familiar with, and plugged it into their template.

The stolen content was only slightly different, and I suspect given the volume of text, that the "re-interpretation" was courtesy of button pushing.

To fresh eyes, the site in question would look clean, and searching for exact phrases might not reveal stolen content due to synonyms being used.


 2:27 am on Apr 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Paying thousands of dollars to develop content

It doesn't take thousands of dollars. It doesn't even take huge amounts of creativity. It just takes a small amount. You just have to use a little bit of imagination. Paying to "develop content"? Don't be ridiculous!

I have a family to feed and a mortgage to pay.

Whose fault is that? It's not the www's responsibility. You made your choices and you have to live with them.

What gives you the right to take up someone else's (read: "a lot of people's") time just because you don't have sufficient creative talent to get by without wasting other people's resources?


 4:37 am on Apr 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

just because you don't have sufficient creative talent to get by without wasting other people's resources?

Be sure you know who you're speaking to before you make disparaging comments like that.

You're words might apply to some people but they're far, far off-target for Martinibuster!


 4:48 am on Apr 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why include the "description" in your link instructions?

Likewise, why are you asking me to provide a description of my site? Have the imagination and the wit to do it yourself, you talentless nonce.

There's 1000's of link exchanges being done every day. For those that do reciprocal linking, that's the format of the exchange. The reason people do it is fairly obvious: to make money.

Quite clearly, you are somewhere above all this, and accordingly you can:

1. Set up filters to make sure these emails don't get into your inbox;
2. Make your email address hard for spiders to read and get rid of the catch all addys (info@, webmaster@ etc); or
3. Ignore the link requests.


 5:00 am on Apr 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

>>> Paying to "develop content"? Don't be ridiculous!

I own several hundred domain names and literally growing every day. It would take a hundred years to develop all of them all by myself (with QUALITY content), not to mention link development.

It's not an issue of insufficient creative talent, it's an issue of TIME. No one has time. Time costs money. Perhaps I'm more ambitious than you, but I can't understand your assertion that it's ridiculous to pay for content.

>>>You made your choices and you have to live with them.
Yep, and that choice is to monetize the hell out of my websites NOW and I do very well because I choose to follow a pragmatic and logical plan for developing my websites, which includes developing the backlinks.

My comments were directed at the assertion that it's enough to develop content and that if you build it the links will come (albeit over years). ronin, are you defending the notion that doing ZERO link development is an option?

I can sympathize with your annoyance at having to delete link requests, I find it slightly annoying myself, but I'm far too busy managing a thriving business to worry about something as insignificant as a recip link request.

If you want something to keep you awake at night try plugging your url into copyscape.com and see how many people are stealing your content. Now that's annoying.


 8:21 am on Apr 17, 2005 (gmt 0)

Okay, I started this thread in the spirit of devil's advocacy, but it seems I got carried away on the wave of my own frustration in my last post. I want to point out that my comments, while a direct response to mb's comments, were directed, in the spirit of debate, at the archetypal sender of unsolicited link requests, not specifically at martinibuster.

I accept that in the real world where external links are so important for SE ranking, it's impossible to expect one hundred percent of site owners to stop sending unsolicited requests. But there doesn't seem to be enough discussion of the lack of merit of asking for links in an unsolicited manner. And if link requests are to be sent in this way why not ask the recipient of the request to properly review the site for which the link is requested?

Am I suggesting in this thread that not paying attention to link development at all is an option? Yes, I suppose that's exactly what I'm saying... that, on the whole, it should be up to other webmasters if they want to link to a given site or not - just as it was (more or less) before search engines made inbound external links such an important ranking factor.

The caveat to that, of course, is that link requests between webmasters who are otherwise in touch are perfectly reasonable. It's the unsolicited and moronic nature of so many link requests that I find so tasteless.

I can't understand your assertion that it's ridiculous to pay for content.

That's not quite what I meant. It's not ridiculous to pay for content. I meant it's ridiculous to use paying for content as a justification for sending out unsolicited link requests.


 2:58 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Why include a description? It saves me (the receiver, in this case) time! If the description tells me the site's incompatible with mine, I don't have to take time to check it out. If it sounds like something that might be useful to my visitors, I can take a look. I haven't heard of anyone saying, "Here's a description of my site--so don't you dare go look at it!" Usually, I'd rather write my own description for a link, geared toward why my visitors specifically might be interested in it, but if the site owner's already written a good one, why re-invent the wheel?

The outside world would consider my area a "niche," but those of us inside it know there are niches inside niches. If another site concentrates on a specific area that I don't, a link exchange makes sense. I'd rather say, "For more on blue widgets, visit..." than have someone who's interested in blue widgets go away from my site frustrated because I concentrate on red ones. If there's a new blue widget site out there that's doing a good job, I want to hear from them (although they might hear from me first).

OTOH, if a description says, "We're all about green gadgets," I can just delete the email. ;-)

[edited for typos]


 4:47 pm on Apr 18, 2005 (gmt 0)

Great attitude Liane! Wish there were more like-minded folks out there :) Sure beats the tiny island mentalities of some local content providers.

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